Middle East

Al-Jazeera journalists denied bail by court in Egypt

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Media captionProducer Mohamed Fahmy said it was ironic that he and his colleagues were back in court on World Press Freedom Day

Three al-Jazeera journalists detained in Egypt have again been denied bail, on World Press Freedom Day.

The judge adjourned their trial to 15 May, despite allowing one of them to stand before him and plead for bail.

Mohamed Fahmy, the station's bureau chief, also explained to the judge it was his job to have contacts across the political spectrum, from the Muslim Brotherhood to the police and army.

The men are accused of spreading false news and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood.

'Massive injustice'

Mr Fahmy, a Canadian-Egyptian who ran the al-Jazeera English bureau in Cairo has been in detention along with correspondent Peter Greste and producer Baher Mohamed since December.

During a break in Saturday's proceedings, Mr Greste told his colleagues from behind bars that there could be no free press in Egypt when journalists are behind detained.

He called the case a "massive injustice" and said access to their lawyers was almost non-existent.

All three reportedly shouted "Happy Press Freedom Day" as their seventh court appearance came to an end.

Outside the court, Mr Greste's brother Andrew said the trial - which began in February - had been going on for too long.

"It's ironic that we are still here on press freedom day. They are award-winning, highly-credentialed journalists, and to see them here, and the trial continue, is a shame. They don't deserve to be there," he said.

The men are on trial with 15 others who are accused of having ties to the banned Muslim Brotherhood and of defaming the country.

A fourth al-Jazeera reporter, Abdullah Elshamy, who works for the network's Arabic channel, has been detained since August but not charged.

He has been on hunger strike for more than 100 days in protest at his detention.

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